top of page

Down Darby Lane

A Who's-Who for Twenty-Two

It's that time – to look back and forward. So, I've created my own list of 2022's most notable people. It is personal, with no particular qualifications in mind or justifications – just what struck me about the ability of humankind to be, well, human.

Volodymyr ZelenskyyPresident of Ukraine, actor, writer, producer, global hero

Who would have predicted that a man once famous for his career as a comedian and TV producer would prove himself on the world stage, defying a power-crazed Vladimir Putin and harnessing the patriotism and courage of Ukrainians – and, at the same time, win the support of democracies around the world? And have we ever seen a nation's leader appear on the international stage without the trappings of power – the custom-fitted suits, elegant settings, and surrounded by decorated members of the military? President Zelenskyy is, in my mind, the surprise role model of the year. Sincere, committed, and courageous.

Vladimir PutinRussian Wannabe President for Life (I didn't say my Notables must be eligible for sainthood)

Martial arts expert, former KGB agent, and Russia's very top dawg since 1999. He is shrouded in mystery regarding anything personal. But he's enjoyed putting his prowess on display by appearing as a fighter pilot, a deep sea diver, and with the puzzling photo of a shirtless Putin wearing a gold chain around his neck while riding a chestnut horse across an open field. He's on my list because his ability to underestimate nations committed to cooperative survival is baffling. The insular leader clearly read his tea leaves wrong. Now the bare-chested chief is battling internal critics and chatter about regime change. Oops.

Secretary Deb Haaland – U.S. Secretary of the Interior

Well, it's way past time, but Native American (Pueblo Laguna) Deb Haaland is the nation's first indigenous Cabinet Secretary. She began her journey as a low-income single parent relying on public assistance to raise her family, pay for college and start a small business. After decades of struggle, she dove into public service and eventually led New Mexico's Democratic Party. In 2019 she was elected to Congress, where she highlighted injustices done to Native American populations and environmental issues. She's shining a spotlight on indigenous populations - from the lack of attention to the disappearance of native women to the abuse of Indian children in the nation's boarding schools and beyond. Her ancestral connection to the land and respect for our natural environment shines a new spotlight on issues too long ignored and critically important to our survival as an egalitarian nation.

LeBron James LA Lakers, NBA basketball star and dedicated philanthropist

The 38-year old King of the Court not only achieves the ardent admiration of basketball fans, but he's also a certified soft-hearted guy who's given millions of dollars to causes close to his heart. Throughout the pandemic, his charity supported elementary school kids and families in need with food and educational materials – even helped to pay teachers' salaries. His foundation donates generously to school programs that help children at risk graduate from high school and then move on to higher education – to the tune of a $41 million investment in tomorrow's leaders. He also established the "More than a Vote Foundation' to increase awareness about voting rights in America. All this while making and breaking records as the NBA’s perennial all- stars.

Photo by Matt Mais, Yurok Tribe

The Yurok Tribe of CaliforniaHarnessing the past to ensure a future

A confession – I have always thought of the decimation and dominance of American Indians at the hands of pioneers, soldiers, and politicians as this country's "Original Sin." That some Indigenous American groups managed to rise from those historic ashes is testimony to the human spirit, and the Yurok Tribe of Northern California is inspirational. The tribe cannot access much of its historical lands but has devoted its allocated acreage as a refuge and restoration site for the critically endangered California Condor - taller than eagles, with a wing span of 9.5 feet. The chicks are carefully housed a few at a time until deemed ready to spread their wild wings. It was the elders of the Yurok tribe who declared the bird' (prey-go-neesh' in their native language) as a keystone species for preservation. The birds are part of the tribe's creation story and play a role in spiritual life that includes a mission to "… heal the earth." Despite surviving amid significant poverty and lack of services most Californians take for granted – the Yurok restoration project creates benefits for the public, the environment, and our collective future.

Chef Jose' Andres - Family, and crews – World Kitchen Central Heroes

Jose Andres migrated from Spain to New York with a slim $50. Through determination, commitment, and the talent of a savant in the kitchen, he grew to be one of the world's most successful and admired chefs and, now, an admired philanthropist. Andres and his family opened WKC in 2010 and, since then, has responded to numerous natural and human-caused disasters throughout the world. His teams provide direct help to families and work with local food and service providers to create a lasting impact in the regions they visit. WCK is first on the frontlines, providing meals, guidance, education, and hope. Andres puts it simply – "(WCK) started with a simple idea at home with my wife Patricia - when people are hungry, send in cooks. Not tomorrow, today."

Mr. MurphyGoodwill Ambassador, honorable mention

He's short in stature but big in personality. I know nothing more uplifting than spending a day – walking, talking, or just sitting quietly with Mr. Murphy. When I'm not feeling cheerful, he notices and gives me reassurance that I'm loved no matter what. It's a relationship based on complete acceptance of our differences – there's never been a day that a disagreement has come between us. He's a chill guy most of the time, but when something unusual occurs, he's the first to step up and voice his concern. So, I feel protected along with being adored. All this, despite the fact that he never does the dishes. What 18 pounds of shaggy dog can bring to a human's life is surely worthy of an Honorable Mention.

That's my very short list of Notables from my limited perspective up here on our mountain. I'd love to hear something about people (and, okay – pets count, obviously) you'd nominate for an outstanding performance in 2022. Thank you all for staying with me over the past year – I appreciate your attention and value your time. Bring on 2023 – I'm ready, are you?


Thank you, as always, for spending your valuable time with me. Remember, I appreciate hearing from you - your thoughts and ideas - Contact me: Wishing you a safe, healthy, and Happy New Year!

Check out more on my website!

Friends and Readers,

A note about most of us, for better and worse, in the Arts. I think we long to share our thoughts and creations - and without you, we are lonely. Imagine, you wrote a beautiful piece of music and no one but you (and perhaps your cat) ever got to hear it. Or painted a picture that no one else but you ever saw, or wrote a story that no one but you read. Sharing is everything for people in the arts and your support is fundamental to the continued creativity of all artists. So, Thank you! 

Hey! Check out this awesome article by popular columnist Ed Goldman - it's about moi! Also subscribe to his clever, witty and smart blog!  

social media marketing.jpg
half cover2020.jpg

My Mountain Mystery

My book has gotten fab reviews on Amazon! I am so excited readers like the characters, the setting, the plot - minus lots of graphic violence. 

If you are fond of 'cozy' mysteries please read The Song of Jackass Creek. Check out Reviews HERE.

Gypsy Wedding Cover HH01 LR-1_edited-1.j
front cover.jpg

Short Story Collection 

Twisted is - twisted! And Gypsy's Wedding - well, you just have to be there!  Click on the books to see more ... 

To Your Inbox:
Reports and reflections to add color, amusement, & thoughts to your day. Let's be connected!

Thanks for submitting!

Sample Amazon Reviews

This is an excellent writer!

Darby Patterson is truly a talented writer. She describes this little town sweetly without boring the reader with unimportant detail, and her descriptions are vivid. She also develops her characters fully through conversation and action so the reader becomes acquainted with the main players and can form pictures of them early in the book. Her characters' thoughts, interactions, and past activities combine to portray the culture of Redbud throughout the story, and the story itself is creative and holds surprises along the way. I too hope Ms Patterson continues to share her talents with us!

Sondra Jensen

Awaiting the next installment

An invitation to linger in this vanishing part of California which has so much history is writ on every page of this book. I've visited places like Redbud with a creek burbling in the background as gentle breezes sough through the pines and cedars. I've found them quaint and rich with fascinating local lore and history. Jesse, as publisher of the local weekly is very nicely sketched, the authors background as a journalist comes through clean and clear in developing him. This small California mining and logging town scrabbling to hang on, I liked very much as a setting. I wouldn't mind sitting down with Jesse and having a beer and help him solve his next mystery. The test of a good book is whether you'd be willing to read it again, later. This book passes that test and I can't wait for the next installment.

Jack Howard


Please let this be the first of a series!

Wonderful book; adult without being ‘R’ rated, complex story and well developed characters. The people of ‘Redbud’ ring true and, as a native Californian, the lumber, real estate and politics are spot on. I hope this is the beginning of a series because the author has created characters you want to know better.

D. Holmes

My other passion
Sculpting for bronze - See more HERE
bottom of page